Mom writes letter to stranger her daughter coined ‘Daddy’

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dear daddy pic

PHILADELPHIA — One woman created a post on her family’s blog expressing deep appreciation to a man her and her daughter encountered while on a flight from Philadelphia.

Shanell Mouland, a wife and mother of two girls, wrote a blog post in the form of a letter to someone she addressed as ‘Daddy.’ In her post, Mouland described boarding a plane with her younger three-year-old daughter, Kate, who has autism.

She detailed the common anxieties that typically accompany her when she and Kate visited public places, because often times they encountered strangers who misunderstood and acted intolerant of her daughter’s condition.

Mouland wrote about the many scenarios she worried could occur while on the plane with her daughter, and also the reason she chose to seat her daughter in the middle rather than by the window. She said Kate would more than likely create a disturbance to those around her, by constantly pulling the window shade up and down. However she worried her decision created the opportunity for someone rude and unfriendly to sit next to her three-year-old.

Mouland went on to describe an important looking man she said was carrying a briefcase. The moment the man sat down next to Kate, she immediately began rubbing the man’s jacket due to its soft texture. Instead of shifting uncomfortably in his seat, or giving Mouland a look of disapproval, which she said she would so often receive, the man instead smiled at Kate.  She said her daughter then turned to the man and said, “hi, Daddy, that’s my mom.” Then she and the man began conversing about his iPad.

The mother-of-two wrote out her account of the initial conversation between the man and her daughter, and said the man continued interacting with Kate, even playing with her toys when she asked him to. She also pointed out that even though her daughter continued to refer to the man as ‘Daddy,’ he never once corrected her

At the end of the flight, Mouland said her daughter had “reached her limit” and even then the man, although unsuccessful, tried to calm her child.

Throughout the post, Mouland continually thanked the man and described how deeply moved she was by his engagement with her daughter. At the end of the blog, she called the flight a successful one, and once again thanked the man for “putting his papers away and playing turtles” with her little girl.

CLICK HERE to read the Mouland’s blog.

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16 comments

    • Michael Keller

      Teresa Parker,

      Why are you commenting on the grammar errors in someone else’s work when you yourself have some errors?

      First off, proofreads* is one word, not two separate ones like you wrote it.

      Second, learn how to incorporate quotes into your response. A period must be inside of the quote rather than outside of the quote.

      Finally, where are your parenthetical citations in which you cite the author? (Babbitt) would suffice at the end of your sentence.

      Do not nitpick at such a beautiful story in hopes of ruining it due to your own insecurities. Realize that no one is perfect, especially yourself, and move on. Enjoy the story for what it is.

      • ali

        agreed… you wont give the story the time of day because it has a few gramatical errors?? Im glad you werent the one sitting next to that child on the plane… if all you can remark on are a few errors in the writing i would hate to see how you would react to an autistic child on a plane… i agree that since it is suppose to be a professionally written story, errors like that are a little too obvious not to wonder how they managed to slip by… but pointing out the obvious is basically the same as mixing water and dirt, then shouting on how you created mud as if no one else knew how to…

  • Lucie

    Oh my freaking God, Really?????? You ladies (using this word loosely) need to climb off your red pencil pedestal. WOW, JUST WOW. Coming from this Nana who is raising an autistic granddaughter, I could only hope to always deal with understanding humans than correction freaks with red pencils up their asses such as yourselves.

    • Jeri

      She was sitting next to her child. Did you miss the part that said she sat her in the middle seat so she wouldn’t play with the window shade? Middle seat implies there is another seat on each side. Mom is in one and that leaves one for the man to sit next to the daughter.

  • well...

    I understand autism is a disability but really I think flying with such a young child EVEN FULLY HEALTHY is not really a good decision.

    I also do not enjoy the implication that someone would be “rude” if they did not want to be touched by this womans daughter. The wrong person sees that going on and youve got implications of child abuse coming your way. Personally id rather appear “rude” than worry about some idiot throwing a life ruining accusation my way.

  • Cynthia Paul

    As a mother of an autistic child, I appreciate any good interactions that anyone has with my child. It restores my faith in humanity. As for the comment above mine about interacting with children, proves to me that we no longer go by the famous adage, “it takes a village.” Once upon a time, it was alright for others to interact with children and does offer much to healthy development. If a child is taught that social interactions are not “ok,” then we are teaching them to one day be anti-social creatures. Unfortunately, we all are antisocial people nowadays.

    As a mother of a little boy who is very talkative and curious, I am always anxious at how people will react to him. I am always on edge and consistently worried about the “stares” that I will recieve from people if he has a meltdown in public. I even threatened once to make business cards that say, “No, he is not a spoiled brat as you previously thought but a child with Autism.” There are so many times that I have heard that statement come out of someones mouth if this happens.

    It’s refreshing to see stories like this and if someone were this way with my son… I wouldn’t throw a life ruining accusation anyone’s way… I would graciously thank them for restoring my faith in humanity, which has been faltering all these years.

    • welp

      its not you we worry about, its the shrew of a woman three rows down that see a grown man playing with a child that is clearly not his who jams her sausage like hambeast fingers into the call button to mutter accusations at the stewardess or whoever else will listen that we worry about.

      and it has nothing to do with being anti-social, and raising a child does not ‘take a village’ as you say. if your child has disabilities you really should expect that some people are not going to be sensitive to them; there are horrible awful people everywhere. you should also not expect people to cater to you either though, no one really owes you anything.

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